Sox lag in Star voting

What if there was an All-Star Game and no one from the Red Sox was invited?

That can’t happen, of course, as the rules stipulate that each team in the big leagues have at least one representative. But after placing six players on the All-Star team last season, with outfielder Jason Bay leading all AL outfielders with more than 4 million votes, the Sox are lagging in the early returns from this year’s voting.

Second baseman Dustin Pedroia is the highest-ranking Sox player at his position, but he’s a distant runner-up to Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano. Victor Martinez is third at catcher, while Kevin Youkilis, who has been the team’s best player, is a distant fifth at first base in a crowded field that includes Justin Morneau, Miguel Cabrera and Mark Teixeira.

Sox fans have usually needed little prodding to vote early and often, but it’s a real possibility that Boston may not have a starter for the first time since 1998.

Sox All-Star starters:

2009 -- Jason Bay, Dustin Pedroia (withdrew for family reasons)

2008 -- Manny Ramirez, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis

2007 -- David Ortiz

2006 -- Ortiz, Ramirez, Mark Loretta

2005 -- Johnny Damon, Jason Varitek, Ramirez, Ortiz

2004 -- Ramirez

2003 -- Ramirez

2002 -- Shea Hillenbrand, Derek Lowe, Ramirez

2001 -- Ramirez.

2000 -- Carl Everett.

1999 -- Pedro Martinez, Nomar Garciaparra